Author(s): Cenciarelli O, Gabbarini V, Pietropaoli S, Malizia A, Tamburrini A,
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Abstract Among the potential biological agents suitable as a weapon, Ebola virus represents a major concern. Classified by the CDC as a category A biological agent, Ebola virus causes severe hemorrhagic fever, characterized by high case-fatality rate; to date, no vaccine or approved therapy is available. The EVD epidemic, which broke out in West Africa since the late 2013, has got the issue of the possible use of Ebola virus as biological warfare agent (BWA) to come to the fore once again. In fact, due to its high case-fatality rate, population currently associates this pathogen to a real and tangible threat. Therefore, its use as biological agent by terrorist groups with offensive purpose could have serious repercussions from a psychosocial point of view as well as on closely sanitary level. In this paper, after an initial study of the main characteristics of Ebola virus, its potential as a BWA was evaluated. Furthermore, given the spread of the epidemic in West Africa in 2014 and 2015, the potential dissemination of the virus from an urban setting was evaluated. Finally, it was considered the actual possibility to use this agent as BWA in different scenarios, and the potential effects on one or more nation's stability. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Virus Res
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense